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Healtheuniversity > English > Diabetes College > Eat Healthy > Fibre

What is Fibre?

Fibre is the part of the plant that your body cannot digest or break down. There are two types of fibre found in food.

  • Soluble fibre lowers your blood cholesterol and helps manage your blood sugar.
  • Insoluble fibre helps prevent constipation (not able to poo), keeps your digestive system healthy, and prevents some types of cancers.

Fibre is the part of the plant that your body cannot digest or break down. It is often called "roughage". Fibre is only found in plant foods. 

Examples of plant foods include:

  • vegetables and fruit
  • whole grains ance cereals
  • legumes
  • nuts and seeds

Eating fibre helps you manage your health. Eat a lot of fibre to:

  • lower your blood sugar.
  • lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol.
  • lower your blood pressure.

Fibre also helps you feel full longer, after a meal. Feeling full longer can help you eat the right amount of food for your body (and not too much).

As fibre passes through your bowels, it attaches to fat and sugar. This delays absorption into your body. The waste is then removed from your body when you have a bowel movement (poo). Regular bowel movements (poos) also keep your digestive tract healthy.

Types of Fibre

Two types of fibre found in food are: soluble and insoluble. Eating plant foods will give you both types of fibre.

Soluble fibre

Foods with soluble fibre absorb water. The water makes the fibre swell and thicken to form a sticky gel.

Soluble fibre can help:

  • lower your blood cholesterol
  • manage your blood sugar

Some examples of food that are high in soluble fibre include:

  • barley
  • okra
  • eggplant
  • ground flax seed
  • legumes
  • beans
  • chickpeas
  • lentils
  • oats
  • avocado
  • pectin-rich fruits
  • apples
  • pears
  • berries
  • citrus fruits like oranges
  • psyllium
  • squash
  • sweet potato
  • turnip

Insoluble fibre

Foods with insoluble fibre do not absorb water.

Insoluble fibre:

  • helps prevent constipation (not able to poo)
  • keeps your digestive system healthy
  • prevents some types of cancers

Insoluble fibre is found in the bran portion of whole grains and the skins of fruit and vegetables. Some examples include:

  • bran cereal
  • broccoli
  • brown rice
  • cabbage
  • celery
  • corn bran
  • green beans
  • the skin on kidney beans and other legumes
  • leafy green vegetables
  • nuts
  • raisins
  • root vegetable skins
  • seeds
  • wheat bran
  • whole grains (such as wheat and rye)
Last Reviewed: 10/16/2016